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Parliament approves €4.5 million in EU aid to Greece after cyclone damage

On Wednesday, MEPs said yes to EU Solidarity Fund aid worth €4.5 million to help reconstruction in western Crete, severely hit by exceptional weather in February.

Between 23 and 26 February 2019, exceptionally heavy rain and storms hit Crete, in particular the western part of the island. The resulting floods and landslides caused the loss of human life and have had disastrous consequences on infrastructure and economic activities – roads and agriculture were particularly affected.

Now that the proposal has been approved by Parliament and Council (8 November), Greece should receive €4,552,517 in financial assistance, minus 10% (€455,252) already paid out to Greece as an advance, mainly to help restore transport infrastructure and support clean-up operations.

You can read about the initiative in the Commission’s proposal and in the draft report by rapporteur Eva Kaili (S&D, GR), approved by 669 votes in favour, 7 against and 17 abstentions.

Background

The EUSF was set up in 2002 in response to disastrous flooding in central Europe in the summer of that year. A list of all EUSF interventions to date is available.

Money from the EU Solidarity Fund can be used to support reconstruction efforts and cover some of the costs of emergency services, temporary accommodation, clean-up operations and to protect cultural heritage, thereby relieving the financial burden borne by national authorities in the wake of natural disasters.